Monday, July 7, 2008

From the archives: If I had $100 . . .

Originally posted on May 29, 2007

My husband and I have been listening to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University CD's in the car on our last few road trips. Last night on our way home from a weekend of visiting family in Chicago, we listened to the last lesson, "The Great Misunderstanding." Ramsey makes many great points, emphasizing that to be truly effective managers of our money, we have to have an open hand. It's a paradox, at least to the world, he says, that we gain more by giving away.

Ramsey ended the lesson by sharing a story about his daughter when she was in kindergarten. The teacher had asked each student to draw a picture of what they would do if given 100 dollars. (Ramsey reminded us that 100 dollars is like ten million to a 5 year-old.) The students' responses were compiled in a little booklet, and each kid brought a copy home. As the Ramseys flipped through the book, many children indicated that they wanted a swimming pool, a fancy car or a dollhouse. They were expecting a similar wish list item from their daughter, and were stunned when they turned to the page with her name on it. "If I had a hundred dollars," she said, "I would give it to the poor people."

My husband and I have been praying that our son (and any other children God blesses us with) would always be aware of the needs of others, and that they would be willing to share all that they've been given.

I would be interested to hear if/what you learned about financial stewardship as a kid, and if you have kids, how you are teaching (or plan to teach) them about this important issue.


A, B & C said...

We did something really neat when I was a kid, and I hope to do it with my own children.
Each year, our church had a Christmas tree and they would hang different paper ornaments. Each one represented a child, with boy/girl and their age. My brother and I both got to pick one and using their wish list, we would go shopping for their gift with some of our own Christmas money.
We also brought in food and helped compile food baskets for Easter and Thanksgiving. Once I got older I helped deliver too, but I have to admit that was hard.

Anonymous said...


I'm interested to know what you remember from your growing up years that helped you form the view of stewardship that you have today --

Love you!

Brie said...

When I was a kid, I remember our parents having 3 little boxes for each of us kids. When we got our monthly allowance, we first put 10% into our tithe box. The next 5% we put into our savings box and the rest went towards spending money.

Another way my parents showed us how to be financially responsible was in regards to our birthday parties. We only had parties once every other year and the in between years we could have a friend over to spend the night. Personally, I think this made the years we did get a party all the more special. Plus, my mom was the queen of creative ways to have a party without spending a lot of money.

We also sponsored Compassion children as a family and learned how just a small financial contribution really makes a difference in someone else's life.

Hayley said...

Though I've always had the best intentions, I have yet to really hands on show my children the value of giving to others. Sure, they know how to share their things, but to give something of their own or to go and buy something for someone less fortunate, well, I have failed completely in that respect.
I have also been reading Dave Ramsey's books, and we have just implemented his "Get out of debt" plan, and I'm excited to see the results in the months to come. I've gained ideas that have been posted already, and I intend to ACT on my good intentions this year.

Katie said...

Thanks for sharing the story of the kindergartner class and what they would do with the $. Precious. Currently, with our six year old, we aren't doing any formal programs regarding money yet ~ but we are sharing with him the beginnings of stewardship. He knows that we tithe at church and has a simple understanding of why. He knows that everything belongs to God in the first place and that we are giving back a portion of what he's already given us. We have been involved in things like Operation Christmas Child where he helps us pick out toys with $ to give things to other children. We have also read stories about Benjamin Franklin (my son loves Ben Franklin stuff!) ~ "a penny saved is a penny earned" type material. For a while, we had him earning his allowance (a quarter per day) if he was obedient and had done his chores for the day. We are reevaluating his chores and ability to do them and will be starting the allowance program again. And just in general, we are trying to instill how expensive things are and what our priorities should be. What a great topic! I look forward to other comments/posts on this! I actually just received an ad in the mail for a *kids' budget* program that instilled biblical values and priorities. I might just order it!

Amy said...

This is great, Carrie! It is such a wonderful reminder to teach our children to be compassionate and thoughtful towards others. We are working on this with our kids and plan to spend one evening this summer working on caring for someone in need. Thank you for this reminder!!

Jody said...

We're doing FPU right now. It's great. My giveaway this month is Dave Ramsey related. Although you may not need it. :) But if you would want to spread the word I would appreciate it. Just go to Iowa Geek and the link is at the top under Not To Be Missed.

Jenny S said...

It has been a while since I have had time to read blogs. Thought I would take a moment to catch up with you. I love Dave Ramsey. We bought his book and have been using some of his words of wisdom to get out of debt.

My sweet Rebecca the other day bought some thing for her older sister with her own hard earned money. She knew the item purchased would be apperciated. There are many times we have had our children do things for not only each other but for others. We do this more during the holiday's. Buying shoes or a gift of the giving tree. I wish I was better at having them give all year. Because I believe in service.